Hike to Salto do Prego

Faial Da Terra - Search Nearby - Added by Abby Valiant

Tucked away near Faial da Terra on the southeastern edge of São Miguel Island is a wonderful, easygoing hike through lush forest to the powerful waterfall Salto do Prego.

Salto do Prego is a great way to experience the natural paradise of the Azores, whether it's your first time in the archipelago or not. The trailhead is near a bus stop at the edge of Faial da Terra. Drive through the village inland along the river, keeping the river on your right, until you reach the end of the road. There isn't really much designated parking, so make sure you are considerate of the residents and park in a place that doesn't block anything. 

You should see the start of the trail up ahead, still on the left side of the river. You'll journey alongside the river for a while through lush vegetation and tree branches arching elegantly overhead. At times, large swaths of solid rock form textured walls from which grow more moss and ferns. You'll pass by bits of farmland and homesteads, too; please be respectful of these - stay on the trail at all times, and don't take any fruit from the area.

While exploring the island on horseback at a separate time, the guide I was with joked how the Azores were like Hawaii but without as many dangerous animals. I could see why! To be sure, the Azores and Hawaii both still have their own distinctive personalities, but the similarities were more than I expected. 

After a little while navigating the softly undulating trail through the forest, the path curves and crosses over a contributing stream on a neat, simple wooden walkway. From there, the trail bends more steeply upward for a while. There are still traces of cobblestones on certain sections of the path (this also was a way to access the now abandoned village Sanguinho, "The Lost Village," which you can still visit as well). I saw only maybe 2-3 other people on the trail the entirety of my time there, and it felt very private.

These cobblestones add a wonderful, somewhat mystifying touch to the trail, but they can be *very* slippery in damp conditions, so do exercise caution.

The trail evens out a bit again as you get close to the end, opening up to more sky in places, too. You'll soon come to a fork in the road with a sign that indicates Salto do Prego is only about 230m off. Head right at the fork following the sign. (The other way takes you to Sanguinho.)

I actually went above the waterfall first. There's a small offshoot trail to the left just before you reach the waterfall that will take you just above it. I got more distracted than I expected there just watching the smooth water move by beneath the trees. Finally, I dragged myself away and went back down to the turnoff. The path to the waterfall dips down through the vegetation slightly and curves around to open before a spacious area below with a strong waterfall pouring into a pool. It's a mesmerizing sight. (I also don't think I realized how large the waterfall was until I saw a person next to it!) All in all, the hike took me about 2 hours round trip going at a leisurely pace. Just make sure to factor in time to admire your surroundings and at the falls!

Distance

2.8 Miles RT

Elevation Gain

715 ft Gain

Type

Out-and-Back

Activities

Fitness, Photography, Running, Hiking

Forest
River
Scenic
Waterfall

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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